Brooklyn, New York: Seeking freedom, Robert M. Phinney of Weeksville

Map showing the location of Weeksville and Crow Hill, early 19th-century African American communities in Brooklyn, New York. Source: Sidney’s map of twelve miles around New-York : with the names of property holders, &c., from entirely new & original surveys (1849). New York Public Library

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Robert M. Phinney (alias Finney), was born enslaved, about 1818, in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina. In the 1840s, he escaped slavery via the maritime Underground Railroad, and eventually settled in Weeksville, Brooklyn, New York. Weeksville was established shortly after New York abolished slavery in 1827. The community was named after James Weeks, a longshoreman and one of the earliest African American landowners in the area. Weeksville has been featured in recent publications, as longterm efforts to preserve the history of the site are threatened by a lack of funding and other resources.1

Edgecombe County, North Carolina: The escape of Harry, carpenter (1849)

The escape of Harry, carpenter (1849)

© Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, 2014-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, links, and photos may not be used without prior written permission from Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History. If granted, full and clear credit shall be given to Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. See: Consequences of Violations of the Copyright Laws.

On October 5, 1849, Guilford Horn, a slave owner in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, placed an ad in the Wilmington Journal for his fugitive slave, Harry, a carpenter.